2022 Private Equity Headhunter Coverage

Hey Monkeys,

We've been hearing rumblings of activity from headhunter contacts ahead of on-cycle recruiting for 2023 starts. Does this sound crazy, given that 2022 on-cycle just happened a few months ago? Yes. Does this surprise us, given how insane PE recruiting is? Not one bit.

We've noticed folks on here asking for info/client lists for the main HHs, and noticed there wasn't a consolidated, updated list. Knowing the client coverage for each HH is crucial for planning your strategy for intro meetings. 

Below are the actual client lists for each of the major headhunters in the private equity recruiting process, updated as of the most recent on-cycle recruiting process. Note that we've excluded some of the smaller/irrelevant names, and included notable hedge funds and crossover funds. 

As always, feel free to DM us if any questions or if you want any other info on PE recruiting!

Henkel Search Partners

In our experience, Henkel (HSP) had the most impressive client list and was very pleasant to work with. They cover many of the largest and most prestigious firms, and you should definitely make an effort to get along with them.

  • AEA
  • Anchorage
  • Ares Direct Lending
  • Audax
  • BC Partners
  • BDT
  • Blackrock Infrastructure
  • Blackstone (Energy)
  • Carlyle (NY, DC, Menlo offices)
  • CD&R
  • I Squared Capital
  • KKR (all groups across all offices)
  • Roark Capital
  • Silver Point
  • Tiger Global
  • TPG (Growth/Rise)
  • Veritas
  • Vista
  • Warburg Pincus


CPI is another top headhunter with great clients. Note that they'll probably ask you paper LBO questions or give you a small case study in your intro meeting with them, which no other headhunter does from our knowledge. 

Ratio Advisors

If you're interested in tech and VC/growth investing, you need to speak with Ratio. Very impressive roster of top VC and growth firms, and some heavy-hitting buyout names. 

Amity Search Partners

Amity has some decent clients and a lot of smaller names that we've excluded. Pleasant people to work with.

Dynamics Search Partners

We unfortunately don't have their full client list, but DSP covers a lot of top names both in buyout and HF clients.

Gold Coast Search Partners

Despite their name, they don't just cover west coast clients. Nice to work with and great coverage across tech.

  • Accel
  • Arcline
  • Evergreen Coast Capital
  • ICONIQ Growth
  • Patient Square Capital
  • TPG Capital
  • Thoma Bravo (all funds)
  • Serent Capital
  • Sumeru Equity Partners


A little more under-the-radar, but they're very good to work with and have poached some good clients from other firms.  

Bellcast Partners

Mainly MM names. They are personal and collaborative, and the intro meeting was less interview-like than other HH meetings.

  • Bain Capital Double Impact
  • Harvest Partners
  • HGGC
  • Siris Capital

SG Partners

Their main legacy client is Blackstone, but besides that their coverage seems pretty sparse.

  • Blackstone
  • Crestview
  • DigitalBridge


Interesting mix of clients, ranging from MM buyout to Coatue. Intro meeting was friendly and collaborative.

Comments (57)

Dec 9, 2021 - 3:42pm
MBBtoPEUMM, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Great list. FYI charlesbank was through Charles Aris for 2022 on cycle, but maybe it's changed

Dec 9, 2021 - 10:17pm
woodw.1865, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Very helpful info. I think one important thing to note is firms might have one HH for on-cycle then use a different one for off-cycle, for a regional office, or for one of their other funds. So it might be worth your time to have intro calls with all the HH listed above rather than just the ones that have the firms you're interested in.

  • Principal in PE - LBOs
Dec 10, 2021 - 10:02am

This is a good point. It's largely consistent but stuff definitely shifts so it's worth having good relationships with everybody

Dec 10, 2021 - 8:08am
Tracer85, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This is very useful, any chance we can get similar data for London?


Dec 11, 2021 - 2:59am
woodw.1865, what's your opinion? Comment below:

you can always reach out to headhunters and it's nothing like cold emailing. these people want to talk to you because they get paid when they place you somewhere. most of them have their team pages with emails available on their websites so just pick one of the associates there and shoot them an email saying you're interested in recruiting and would like to schedule an intro call.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Dec 10, 2021 - 6:43pm

Any solid HH's that cover fintech/fig?

Dec 10, 2021 - 7:01pm
SpreadCompsNCheeks, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Was always curious, why does PE/HF use head hunters while IB doesn't? Does PE just not want to waste time and resources having their own internal recruiting team?

Dec 10, 2021 - 7:05pm
SpreadCompsNCheeks, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Since the process is done through headhunters, does networking with associates and others at the firms help with recruiting?

  • Principal in PE - LBOs
Dec 11, 2021 - 10:01am

Yep I think that's the going rate. There's also a clawback period for the first 6-12 months where if a candidate they place quits, the HH has to find someone else for free. 

Dec 11, 2021 - 6:57pm
zeroebitda, what's your opinion? Comment below:

PE firms pay staffing/search firms (AKA headhunters) to help them find and screen for top talent so the PE firm can expedite their hiring process. The headhunters at these firms get paid by the PE firm (as mentioned above) each time they successfully refer a candidate and he or she gets hired by the PE firm.

Dec 18, 2021 - 6:11pm
IBguylikestmt21, what's your opinion? Comment below:

heard of a few random stories with people who had summer roles at top banks getting entry-level gigs at small PE shops out of undergrad - how common is this and does this fit into the normal PE pipeline at all? 

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Dec 29, 2021 - 4:40pm

The PE analyst opportunities don't only pertain to small PE shops. A significant number of large institutional funds have implemented analyst programs: https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/megafundumm-pe-analyst-program-discussion-thread, but they hire much fewer analysts per year (i.e. 3-4 at BX vs. ~100 at GS). Any PE analyst from a high-quality fund is viewed incredibly favorably and will receive looks both on-cycle and off-cycle. Unlike banking, usually people don't recruit unless they don't like their fund because they're going to have to rebuild goodwill and relearn processes

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Dec 29, 2021 - 2:30pm

Does anyone know which headhunters have a large client who are focused on Energy/O&G Private equity?

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Dec 29, 2021 - 6:24pm

DSP has a large coverage universe of Texas-based funds -- both generalist and oil and gas (Quantum, Tailwater come to mind, as well as a number of other smaller shops). SG Partners covers Blackstone Energy Partners. On the infra side, CPI has ECP, fka Energy Capital Partners and Bellcast covers Stonepeak.

Edited per below - thanks

Jan 6, 2022 - 10:40am
Wu-Tang-Financial, what's your opinion? Comment below:

With regards to coverage, do these staffing firms mainly support the PE business or are they all encompassing?

If I wanted to get into a credit arm of a PE firm for example or cap markets role, would that fall under their domain?

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Jan 6, 2022 - 8:09pm

Sometimes they might cover everything, but different parts of a firm can be supported by different groups. For example, TPG Capital is covered by Gold Coast Partners, but TPG Rise is covered by HSP. But the other hand, Gold Coast covers all the funds for Thoma Bravo. This is all to say that the answer is not cut and dry. You just have to see what each person covers. 

  • Prospect in IB - Cov
Jan 6, 2022 - 7:31pm

Do HH's have IB clients? Thinking of reaching out to them a couple months into my analyst stint to try and lateral to an EB/BB

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Jan 6, 2022 - 8:05pm

Not any of the above firms. Have seen some firms like pinnacle group do it, but honestly you can find postings on website of BBs/EBs. There's really no reason to have a middle man liaison as big banks have large HR teams. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 6, 2022 - 8:08pm

Wait - are people receiving emails from these guys already? damn

  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
Feb 12, 2022 - 4:59pm

From a REPE perspective:

CPI also covers Apollo RE and a lot of the other large RE GPs less a few (TPG, BX which are ratio/sg). Strongest list that I came across.

Bellcast from a REPE perspective also has GIC/Bain/Cerberus as names that were mentioned I believe they also cover verticals for some of these outside RE but not sure which ones.

Feb 12, 2022 - 8:13pm
akdbs17, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Generally Dynamics and SearchOne are considered to be pretty good. I think Oxbridge has a few as well

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Feb 12, 2022 - 10:05pm

Does someone know who covers lower middle market funds in Chicago. Thinking some like CORE industrial, CIVC, Shore Capital, Silver Oak

Feb 16, 2022 - 9:50am
d-3, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Sadly this list is not accurate.  It's missing a ton of funds.  Some firms do not send around client lists so it's harder to know who they work with. I know BellCast works with a lot more funds that is listed here.  Likely the same for some of the others.  

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Feb 27, 2022 - 3:02pm

Senior in college here. I have a connection through someone at Dynamic Search Partners through the same greek org, but we went to different schools. Given the weight they have on decisions, how should I reach out to them? Because I'm still in college, I'm not sure if I should reach out as a student asking for pe recruitment advice or if I'm more direct and ask to get to know each other for the future when I try to recruit for pe. Thoughts?

  • 1
Mar 2, 2022 - 11:01am
na123, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Updated BellCast client list:

  • Bain Capital Double Impact
  • Harvest Partners
  • HGGC
  • Siris Capital (NYC, SF and FL)
  • Court Square
  • Stonepeak (NYC and Houston)
  • Wind Point
  • Bain Capital Life Sciences
  • Bain Capital RE
  • SK Capital
  • Cerberus RE
  • GIC RE
  • Hudson Advisors
  • Stellex (no longer client of Ratio)
  • Brightstar Capital Partners
  • Athyrium
  • Light Street
  • Prospect Hill Growth
  • Emerald Lake Capital Management
  • American Pacific Group
  • Declaration Growth
  • Eurazeo
  • NexPhase Capital
  • Northwood
  • Rubicon Technology Partners
  • Windrose Health Investors
  • Investment Analyst in RE - Comm
Apr 3, 2022 - 4:38pm

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Apr 4, 2022 - 12:01am

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Career Advancement Opportunities

May 2022 Private Equity

  • The Riverside Company 99.4%
  • Apollo Global Management 98.8%
  • Warburg Pincus 98.2%
  • Blackstone Group 97.6%
  • KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts) 97.1%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

May 2022 Private Equity

  • Blackstone Group 99.4%
  • The Riverside Company 98.8%
  • KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts) 98.2%
  • Ardian 97.6%
  • Bain Capital 97.0%

Professional Growth Opportunities

May 2022 Private Equity

  • The Riverside Company 99.4%
  • Warburg Pincus 98.8%
  • Bain Capital 98.2%
  • Apollo Global Management 97.6%
  • Blackstone Group 97.1%

Total Avg Compensation

May 2022 Private Equity

  • Principal (8) $676
  • Director/MD (19) $584
  • Vice President (76) $364
  • 3rd+ Year Associate (81) $276
  • 2nd Year Associate (161) $257
  • 1st Year Associate (335) $223
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (27) $157
  • 2nd Year Analyst (70) $132
  • 1st Year Analyst (217) $127
  • Intern/Summer Associate (21) $67
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (244) $58